Kenosha, Wis. – Kenosha County has been added to the list of counties affected by a ban on baiting and feeding of deer. The ban follows the recent discovery of a wild white-tailed deer from Brighton that tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
An emergency rule approved by the Natural Resources Board last September placed a ban on baiting and feeding of deer as part of the state’s efforts to prevent the spread of CWD. The ban affects counties that are part of CWD control zones and counties within 10 miles of an animal found positive for the disease.
Kenosha is the 24th county in the state included in the ban. The other affected counties are: Portage, Juneau, Waushara, Calumet, Manitowoc, Adams, Marquette, Vernon, Richland, Sauk, Columbia, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Waukesha, Layafette, Green, Rock, Sheboygan, Walworth and Racine.
“The counties under the baiting and feeding ban are known areas of risk for chronic wasting disease because the disease has been found there or within a 10-mile radius,” said Tom Hauge, director of the DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management. He added that banning baiting and feeding of deer is based on solid science. “Scientists agree bait and feed raise the risk of disease transmission by artificially congregating deer.”
The ban on baiting and feeding prohibits any recreational or supplemental feeding of deer. Food plots, normal agricultural practices and gardens are not regulated by this rule. People can continue to feed birds and small mammals as long as they place the food within 50 yards of homes or work places in feeding devices or structures that make the feed unavailable to deer either by design, physical barrier such as a fence, or height above the ground. People can also continue to hand-feed animals other than deer if they place the food no more than 30 feet away and make a reasonable attempt to remove unused food when they leave the feeding site. Outside of the 24 counties identified in the emergency rule baiting is limited to 10 gallons and there is no limit to feeding.
Throughout the winter, the DNR will conduct ongoing surveillance in Kenosha, Walworth and Rock counties where CWD-positive deer have been discovered. The DNR will continue to seek CWD samples from these counties, taking advantage of car-killed deer, municipal deer control projects, landowner permits, and targeted shooting and trapping on selected sites by agency personnel.
Additionally, the DNR is encouraging people to call their local wildlife biologist if they see a sick-looking deer. In Kenosha County, west of Interstate 94, the hunting season ended January 3; east of Interstate 94, the bow season remains open through January 31.
“We are very grateful to hunters and all others in Kenosha County who have helped us get the deer tissue samples needed in order to look for CWD,” said Marty Johnson, Wildlife Biologist. “We are asking for their continued support so we can better determine the extent of CWD in the county.”
DNR secretary Scott Hassett signed a secretary’s order today. The ban will be in effect upon publication through the February 7, 2004 expiration date of the emergency rule, unless the department is granted a rule extension by the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR).